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ABQ to Springdale… almost.

1 May 2010

After what may have been the smoothest air travel day of my entire life flying into Albuquerque, I got to chill out a little bit, go for a mountain bike ride, and have a couple beers with some great friends. Then it was a couple days of prepping bikes and getting things ready to roll out for the start of the season. The highlight of my two days in Albuquerque though was catching up with an old friend from college who I hadn’t seen in six years. I hopped on Dan’s Trek Belleville (which, by the way, might be the greatest bike Trek has ever made), and rode the four miles down to the Range Cafe for an I-25 omelette and an hour of catching up with a very cool girl.

Today Kat and I departed Albuquerque for the 9 hour drive to Springdale. Due to the wonders of living in the future, I sat in on a Skype conference call for the Tour of California on my Blackberry while looking at race information and our guest packet on my laptop with a USB broadband card. The only hitch came when the freeway curved a little too close to a cliff and I dropped the signal on the conference call.

We arrived at the east gate of Zion National Park at about 7:45 only to be turned away by the ranger. Apparently there was some kind of “incident” and they weren’t letting any oversized vehicles through. Even though he admitted that we measured UNDER the limits for oversized he called us “marginally oversized but not actually oversized” and that was enough to turn us back. 11 miles from our destination and he was ready to send us 100 miles around the park. After 9 hours in the van and thinking we were only a few minutes away, another 100 miles was not on either of our radar screens. We grabbed a hotel room in East Zion and hopefully the “incident” will be cleared by morning so we can get through.

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